Beefaroni is similar to Hamburger Helper, only so, so, SO much better! Tender macaroni noodles are all dressed up with hearty ground beef, tomatoes, parmesan and more. This kid-friendly dinner recipe takes everything you love about meaty spaghetti and turns it into a macaroni dish the whole family will love.
Let’s start right from the jump by saying that this Beefaroni recipe is superior because it doesn’t use jarred spaghetti sauce! Once I started making my own pasta sauces, I never looked back… and neither will you.
It’s so inexpensive and easy to whip up your own sauce and it’s so much more flavorful than the store-bought stuff! You’ll see what I’m talking about when you enjoy this homemade Beefaroni.
Also, I think I could say that name a hundred times and still have fun. Beefaroni just has such a cheeky ring to it! Kids love requesting it for dinner almost as much as they love actually eating it.
It can be a struggle to get little ones to actually eat a protein-packed dinner, which is why I really depend on easy recipes like this one to help fill them up.
Simply put, Beefaroni is elevated Hamburger Helper. And when I say elevated, I mean severely elevated! The powdered mix that comes in a little cardboard box can’t compete with ingredients like tomatoes, fresh garlic, onions, and bold seasonings.
All of the ingredients come together here to create the best savory flavor and consistency to compliment the filling beef and tender pasta.
How to Make Beefaroni
This easy recipe comes together in just about half an hour from start to finish!
- Cook the beef. Brown the ground beef in your skillet until it’s fully cooked. Drain most of the fat (reserve some in the skillet) and transfer the cooked beef to a bowl.
- Cook the onions and garlic. Cook the onions first until softened, then toss in the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
- Make the sauce. Stir in the tomato paste and seasonings. Stir everything together and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste darkens in color. Return the beef to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, and beef stock.
- Cook the pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the macaroni, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Enjoy! Give the pasta a final stir before serving. Serve with parsley and parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Tips and Variations to Try
- Not a fan of beef? Feel free to use ground turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based substitute instead. Turkeyaroni might not have the same ring to it, but it’s sure to still be tasty.
- Remember to stir. While the pasta cooks, it’s important to lift the lid and stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet and burn. However, try not to over-do it! Keeping the lid on the skillet is what gives the pasta enough time to cook all the way through.
- Use your own beef stock. Yes, store-bought broth is completely fine and what I tend to use most of the time when I’m in a pinch! However, if you happen to have any Homemade Beef Stock on hand, use it in this recipe for the BEST flavor.
How to Store Beefaroni
Once your Beefaroni is cooled to room temperature, you can transfer it to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for about 3-4 days.
Still hungry? Make more of my favorite easy pasta dinners!
Get the Recipe: Beefaroni Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley, optional
- 1 deep skillet
- In a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
- Transfer the cooked beef to a bowl using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened,
- Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the tomato paste, seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Stir to coat the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste begins to darken in color.
- Return the beef to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and beef stock.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the macaroni.
- Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the lid and stir.
- Serve with parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.